Support an employee who has had a miscarriage or whose baby is stillborn or dies after birth

Key points

  • Employers should offer an employee who has had a miscarriage or stillbirth appropriate emotional support and, in most cases, time off work to recover.
  • If an employee's child is stillborn 24 weeks or more into the pregnancy, they will retain their entitlement to statutory maternity leave and, if eligible, pay. From 6 April 2020, an employee who has a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, is also entitled to take statutory parental bereavement leave and, if eligible, pay.
  • A miscarriage before the pregnancy has reached 24 weeks will mean that the employee will not have the right to statutory maternity leave or pay. The employer's sickness absence procedure should be used to deal with absence in these circumstances. Some employers also offer compassionate leave or the employee may want to consider taking a period of annual leave.
  • Where the baby dies after the birth, the employee will retain their full rights to statutory maternity leave and pay, irrespective of the timing of the birth.

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